Binding finishes

An alternative method for binding finishes

If you are a beginner sewist, or new to working with knits, you may be a little put off by finishing your neck and/ or arm openings with circular bindings. While that method is easy once you get the hang of it, if you want to ease yourself in here is an alternative way of doing the closures. It will work well on a garment like Dune, where rather than having the bindings standing proud from the garment (like RTW t-shirt neckbands are, for example), instead the bands are fully enclosed (and even invisible if you choose the “invisible band” rather than “contrasting band” option!)

For this alternative method you will need to have an opening at the seam (one of the shoulder seams for the neckband, the underarm seams for the armbands. So, instead of sewing both shoulder seams, sew only one.

Then, when you come to sew your neckband, instead of sewing the short ends together, omit this first step. Fold the band lengthways, wrong sides together, and press.

Divide the neckband in four equal pieces, marking the division with pins (the easiest way to do this is to fold it in half, and then in half again, and pin at the folds). On the bodice, use a pin to mark the halfway point between the open shoulder seams (this will not be the other shoulder seam – it will be somewhere on the neckline of the front bodice!). Then use another pin to mark the half-way point between this point and each of the open shoulder seams, and line up these pins with the pins in your neckband. For a hidden neckband, sew the neckband to the right side of the bodice; for an exposed neckband, sew the neckband to the wrong side of the bodice. Pin the neckband to the neckline at more points if that makes you feel more confident, stretching the neckband to fit (but not stretching the neckline!). Attach the neckband to the neckline with a ¼” seam allowance, stretching gently as you sew. Press to the inside for a concealed neckband, or to the outside for an exposed neckband.

Now sew the open shoulder seam, including the neckband as part of the seam. Press the seam towards the back.

You’re done! Follow the instructions to secure the neckband to the bodice!

For the armbands, it’s even simpler: you follow these same instructions (i.e. attach the band BEFORE you sew the side seams), but your halfway point will be the shoulder seam! When you have attached your armbands, sew your side seams and then follow the instructions to secure the bands to the bodice.

Finish your garment according to the rest of the instructions.